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LaoghaireInformer Dún

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November 2010 • Unit 38, Northwood Court, Santry, Dublin 9 • Tel: 01 813 8786 • Email: info@informer.ie • Web: www.informer.ie

Dún Laoghaire • Dalkey • Killiney • Monkstown • Blackrock

Anger over lack of parking spaces on new Luas line

A lack of car park facilities on the new Luas line has angered locals and left many commuters unable to use the Cherrywood extension. At a cost of just under e300 milBy Kim O’Donnell lion, the new tram extension connects Cherrywood, Ballyogan, Carrickmines and surrounding areas to the Luas Green Line. Park-and-ride facilities for Cherrywood and other stops were included in the original plans, however with the collapse of the housing boom, the major developments which the park-and-ride facilities were to be a part of never materialized and so the land was transferred facilities can be built. to the National Asset Management On its first morning in operation, Agency (NAMA). it was reported that hundreds of drivers were turned away from the Short-term solution Cherrywood Luas station, as the Discussions between the only car park was a private facility Cherrywood developer, Dun for workers at Dell and other adjaLaoghaire Rathdown County cent offices. Signs warned that cars Council and the company responsi- parked illegally would be ble for the Luas, the Rail clamped. Procurement Agency (RPA), have Meanwhile, residents of begun. It is hoped that a short-term Leopardstown Heights in solution can be found quickly, as Leopardstown have complained the land will need to be purchased about Luas travellers using their before permanent park-and-ride estate as a car park and have asked

Dun Laoghaire County Council to install three hour Pay & Display parking to deter commuters. Speaking on Friday 22 October, Fine Gael Dublin South TD, Alan Shatter, criticised the “lack of joined up thinking” in the opening of the new Luas Green Line extension. He called on Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and the RPA to provide appropriate parkand-ride facilities for commuters who do not live within walking distance of a Luas station. New car park planned

Spokesman for the RPA, Tom Manning, says that the Luas is intended primarily for people living near the line and points out that many of the original Green Line stops do not have park-and-ride facilities. Manning says that a 350 space car park will be built at the Carrickmines Luas stop in the first quarter of 2011. There are also negotiations with a private developer to build a park-and-ride facility at Ballyogan Wood.

Jenny's bearing up! Waiting in the wings

Leo Varadkar Interview

Page 14

Jenny Lee is submerged in Bernardo's Bears for the launch of this year's Teddy Bear Raffle. 800 adorable teddies will be auctioned off in companies, schools and clubs to raise funds for the charity, with one lucky winner to get a free trip to the Big Apple with Tour America. To get a bear to raffle check out the Bernardos website at bernardos.ie.

Win tickets to the opening night of Scrooge at the grand Canal Theatre - Page 24 Opinion: The RPA's myths & facts - Page 3


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The Informer

The Drift

Q The month in Quotes I was with God and I was with the devil. They fought over me but God won. I think I had extraordinary luck. Mario Sepulveda, one of 33 Chilean miners rescued after being trapped 2,000 feet below ground for 69 days. I genuinely believe he can’t remember anything. His apology is very clear. If he did something wrong, he apologises unreservedly. Solicitor Gerald Kean on his client broadcaster Neil Prendeville Nothing has turned up so we have a deeper correction to start bridging that gap (between state income and expenditure). Finance Minister Brian Lenihan admits that the cavalry hasn't arrived This issue, an engine failure, has been one that we haven't seen before. So we are obviously taking it very seriously, because it is a significant engine failure. Alan Joyce, chief executive of Qantas after one of his Airbus A380s was forced to make an emergency landing in Singapore We are not at the stage where we are prepared to sign up to a figure from a government that has got every other figure wrong A Fine Gael TD is unimpressed at calls to co-operate with the coalition It's better to be passionate about a beautiful girl than a gay. Silvio Berlusconi, Italian Prime Minister defends his lifestyle Drugs that are legal cause at least as much damage, if not more, than drugs that are illicit. Wim Van Den Brink, a professor of psychiatry and addiction at the University of Amsterdam, on a new study in the journal Lancet, which concluded that alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs like heroin and crack cocaine Is the department trying to imply that it has addressed all the country’s school building problems and there is no need to spend any more? Construction Industry Federation director general, Tom Parlon on the e311m unspent in the Dept of Education's budget

Dublin by Numbers

12% DublinInformer Source: CSO Quarterly National Household Survey 2010

DublinInformer 185,000 copies Citywide

DublinInformer 185,000 copies Citywide in 10 local editions

FACTS ABOUT THE INFORMER 4 We have the highest circulation of any paper in Dublin! 4 We distribute ALL our papers through the letterbox! 4 You can place an 84mm x 84mm full colour display ad in all our 10 papers for just e250+vat! 4 Our featured articles on health, beauty, family and personal finance are highly valued by our readers! IN THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CLIMATE, CIRCULATION IS EVERYTHING! YOU WILL REACH 175,000 DUBLIN HOMES WITH THE INFORMER

This is the percentage of people in Dublin who say they have been victim of a crime during 2010. While this does seem high, around half of crimes reported related to vandalism. The overall news is good, in that the trend in crime over the past few years is downwards. Across Ireland the number of people who say they have been a victim of a crime has fallen from 12% to 9% since 2003.

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The Informer

Comment & Debate Metro North: The RPA's myths and facts The Metro North proposal has come under fire from many quarters (including this newspaper) over issues relating to cost, affordability, disruption and the need for the rail line The RPA recently published a 'myth and fact' riposte to the doubters. Here are some of the main points. Myth: Metro North will cost between €5bn and €15bn Fact: These numbers are quite simply ridiculous and Metro North will cost far less than €5bn to build. The exact number is confidential because we are not going to tell the companies bidding to build Metro North how much money we have in the budget. Myth: The first Luas Lines cost three times more than the original tender amounts Fact: This Government approval was for a budget of €775 million. Luas was implemented at a total cost of €728 million. RPA anticipates Government approving the implementation of Metro North, when it has completed the railway order process and tenders have been received. This is the only budget that is relevant. Myth: No cost benefit analysis of Metro North has been done Fact: An independently audited cost benefit analysis has been carried out. The project benefits exceed costs by a ratio of 2:1. A previous published review of RPA’s projections by advisors to the Oireachtas Joint Transport committee concluded that RPA was underestimating the benefits that would be delivered by Metro. Myth: There is no economic justification for Metro North and it is a Celtic Tiger “vanity project “ Fact: Metro North will deliver a net benefit to the Irish economy of more than €1 billion, verified by independent auditors. Fact: If even modest population and employment growth occurs, as predicted by the Central Statistics Office, then Metro North will carry over 36 million passengers each year. This is based on trips to destinations such as Dublin City University, the Mater and Rotunda Hospitals, Ballymun, Swords, Dublin Airport as well as commuting by north Dublin and Fingal residents to the heart of the city. Myth: Metro North will reduce employment in the Dublin area Fact: Metro North will create 4,000 construction jobs and thousands more indirect jobs in retail and in the construction supply sector. Myth: Disruption to city centre retail for construction works will affect turnover for all city retailers and will cause firms to close. Fact: The vast majority of the work associated with project delivery will be completed without substantial interference in the day-to-day operation of the city and its businesses. RPA has worked closely with Dublin City Council in developing a detailed traffic strategy. Fact: This strategy includes a number of commitments to ensure that the city centre will remain open for business at all times including: • Access will be maintained to all premises fronting on to the works • Pedestrian flows on the streets will be maintained where possible • Access will be maintained to premises for servicing and deliveries • Access will be maintained to all existing multi-storey car parks • Information will be provided on car park access routes and space Myth: Metro North will deter tourists from visiting Dublin Fact: There is no evidence that Metro North will have an impact on tourist numbers - indeed in the longer term Metro North will make Dublin a much more attractive city to visit. There is no evidence that the construction of Luas impacted on tourist numbers – in fact official figures show tourist spending increased by over €1 billion during the period when Luas was under construction. Myth: The journey time will be too long from the airport to be attractive to business travellers Fact: The journey times from the airport to city centre will be under 20 minutes with a train leaving the airport every 5 minutes.

Spring Awakening Competition Winner The winner of two tickets to see Spring Awakening at the Grand Canal Theatre was Emer Breen, Goatstown, Dublin 14.

Myth: Shoppers will not be able to drive into the city Fact: Shoppers will continue to be able to drive in to the city and park their cars in the city centre. All off-street car parks will remain fully accessible at all times. Myth: The construction of Metro North will block access to retail premises such as shops and restaurants Fact: Access will be maintained to all retail premises during construction Myth: O’Connell Street will be closed to traffic Fact: Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction on O’Connell Street at all times during the construction of Metro North.

Myth: St. Stephens Green will be closed for 5 years Fact: Over 80% of St. Stephen’s Green will remain open to the public during construction and the area required to build the stop will be fully re-instated after construction. RPA has worked very closely with the Office of Public Works and the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government in developing all plans for the Green.

Myth: Metro North is unlikely to break even on running costs. Fact: The transport modelling carried out by RPA and audited independently on behalf of the National Transport Authority shows that the operating revenue on Metro North is likely to exceed the operating costs. This would repeat the success of the Luas.


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Green Scene

Fewer greenhouse gases – but not in a good way The good news is that according to the EPA Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions fell by 7% in 2009 when compared to the 2008 figure. The bad news is the reason those emissions fell. All polluting sectors came down, with the biggest decreases being in cement production and transport as the construction boom came to an end and the economy ground to a halt. Molly Walsh of Friends of the Earth expressed it best when she said: “This sharp decrease in emissions is not the result of wise climate policy but rather

of unwise economic policy. Having a recession is not a substitute for having a solid framework for climate policy.” Climate legislation has been promised for over a year but is still to appear. Meanwhile Ireland is still overshooting its Kyoto target, with emissions that are well above the European per capita average. The forthcoming budget could be a good tool to get us back on track if it contains incentives to develop clean technologies as well as the hefty carbon taxes we are all expecting.

Are you playing sustainable music?

Are you a musician? Is your instrument made of wood? Do you know where that wood came from, who grew the trees and how it was harvested? Did you know that trees from which many are made, known as 'tonewoods' are endangered species? A new charity 'Sound and Fair' is partnering with Concern and Irish environmental NGO Just Forests to connect Irish instrument makers to Fair Trade and

Growing garden Green shoots... Butterflies in Dublin Transport – an easy Thinking ahead to next summer Dublin City Community Gardens are organizing a workshop budget target on Garden Butterflies on Sunday afternoon November 21st in the Robert Emmet Community Development Project at Bridgefoot Street. Speakers from Dublin Naturalists Field Club will explain how to identify butterflies in your garden and what sort of plants and habitats they need, while Robert Moss will explain how species are recorded. Adults and children

The Garden Butterfly Workshop is aimed at both adults and children, with the intention of answering questions, and providing information and advice in a fun way. This is the first of multiple workshops that are planned for Dublin City Community Gardens throughout the next year teaching ecological and insect friendly gardening. For further information send an email to robcontrolaltdelete@yahoo.com

conservation grade community groups in countries such as Tanzania to ensure that future generations will continue to enjoy the music we take for granted today. World renowned Irish instrumentalists, The Chieftains, headline the first event in support of the new organization in the Tullamore Court Hotel on November 24th, with artists from around the world. You can win tickets or book on line at http://www. justmusic.ie.

Friends visiting from Switzerland recently were shocked at the price of public transport in Dublin, and then shocked again to find how many places weren’t even accessible by public transport. They thought about hiring a car, but then realized that Dublin is not a good city for drivers – lots of traffic, and scarce and expensive parking. But why were they so shocked? Surely fleecing the tourist is a normal international sport? Well as it so happens, they are from Geneva, a city that has good public transport to everywhere you might want to go, and where that transport is free for tourists. Yes really, from the moment you set down in the airport at Geneva to the moment you leave again transport is free for visitors. After all, tourism is something that should be encouraged – get people into the city and they’ll spend money. So you pick up a ticket at the airport that gets you to your hotel free and then the hotel provides you with a travel pass for the rest of your stay. And the ticket can be used on

The Informer By Kathy Marsh, Sonairte

...with Kathy Marsh buses, water buses and local rail systems. Yes, in Geneva, as in most modern capital cities, there is integrated public transport. How different from our own dear Dublin, where we have to decide whether we are going to spend all day travelling, including walking from one part of the system to another, or whether we are going to pay through the nose for parking and pollute the city with traffic fumes in order to save ourselves quite a lot of travel time. The forthcoming budget will almost certainly see Metro North axed and I’m fully in support – has anybody ever done a cost benefit analysis on this particular vanity project? But is it too much to hope that in this time of austerity we might actually get integrated public transport and more buses going to places we actually want to reach. You could get a really good bus service for a fraction of the savings on Metro North and some of the change could give us sensible integrated ticketing to cover the DART and LUAS as well. And maybe it wouldn’t hurt to give tourists that free transport – might help to fill up some of the empty hotel beds and bring back some spending money.


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The Informer

Garden Growing

Tackling the end-of-year tasks Even though the clocks have gone back and winter has arrived, there are still some nice colours in the November garden. The Chinese Lantern Physalis are a gorgeous orange, and the Michaelmas daisies Asters are also at their best, as are the Chrysanthemums. At this time of the year the one thing we all see in our gardens and everywhere else for that matter are fallen leaves. They must be cleared up on a weekly basis. Sodden leaves can do a lot of damage to lawns and can be dangerous on steps and paths. Bag those leaves

Fallen leaves should be gathered and stored in plastic rubbish bags. Fill the bag and make a few holes in the sides. Put the bags away for about a year and you will then get leafmould which is a brilliant soil conditioner. You can’t buy anything in garden centres that’s as good as your own leafmould. Make sure to wet the leaves if they are dry as

this helps them rot down. November is a good time to take a close look at your borders and think about a revamp. I have a tall grass in one of my beds that has to go as it is simply way too big. The problem is that I’ve nowhere else for it so I’ll give it away to someone with more space. You must be a bit ruthless when re-organizing, if something hasn’t worked or no longer fits in the original space, get rid of it even if it’s in perfect condition. New Zealand Flax Phormium is a plant that I’m often asked to reduce or dig out as they can get enormous and will take over a bed. So as I said, be ruthless. Plant for spring

Now is your last chance to plant spring bulbs. In addition to the usual Daffs and Tulips, my all time favourite spring flower is Fritillaria Meleagris or Snake’s Head Fritillaria. Its nature’s version of the Tiffney lamp! They are widely

With

Gerry Norton

available and should be planted now. If you haven’t cleared out your veg plot do it now and start getting the soil ready for next year. Digging is best done now before winter takes hold. Always remember not to overdo the digging. A little at a time is best and

stop every ten minutes or so to straighten your back. Dig in last years leafmould and any other good compost that you have collected. Re-seed any bare patches on the lawn and be careful cutting the grass at this time of year. The rear wheels on motorized mow-

ers can do damage if the ground is wet and there is a lack of traction.

Tip of the month

Leave the grass a wee bit high during the winter as it will help keep the dreaded moss at bay.

Finally folks, if you need any information on gardening or if you have any tips or suggestions which I can pass on, please send them to me at livinglandescapes@eircom.net. I would be delighted to quote for any/all of your garden requirements from set-up organic vegetable plots to restoration of neglected gardens, design, planting and maintenance. No charge for initial visit and I will travel within reason.

Gerry Norton, Living Landescapes, 97 Church Avenue, Drumcondra, Dublin 9 Tel: 087-2462724 or email

livinglandescapes@eircom.net


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The Informer

Health Feature

More than an energy supplement: Q10 gives your health a natural boost

When you take coenzyme Q10 you get more than increased energy levels. It has a positive effect on your heart, your blood pressure, your gums, and even fertility. When you drink a cup of coffee it perks you up. The effect is short-lived, however. The same is the case with popular energy boosters like ginseng and guarana. With coenzyme Q10, it is entirely different. Unlike the other substances which are essentially stimulants, Q10 is a compound – a vitamin-like nutrient – which the body needs in order to make its own energy. When you take a supplement of Q10, you give every single cell in your body a boost, including cells in your heart tissue and cells in your gums. Energy controls your health Q10 is part of your biochemistry. Your liver produces it, and it is found in different types of food. Levels of Q10 are relatively high until you reach an age of 20-25 years, and from that point on they decrease. It may take several decades before it becomes noticeable to you, but at some point your body’s Q10 levels are that low it may interfere with normal body functions. Important for the heart The heart is one of the organs that is most dependent of Q10. After all, the heart muscle requires enormous amounts of energy in order to keep pumping around the clock. Science has actually found that people with heart failure benefit from taking supplements of Q10, not only because it increases their energy levels and general wellbeing but also because it actually improves their cardiac output. The cells of the heart muscle get a much needed boost and can perform better.

Useful for Athletes A study conducted on Finnish top-level cross-country skiers showed that daily supplementation with Q10 for 12 weeks led to significant improvements. Their endurance increased, they recovered faster, and they were able to train for longer periods at a time. Similar studies have been conducted in fields like cycling and martial arts.

Arch Neurol. 2004 Jun;61(6):889-92. Atorva-statin decreases the coenzyme Q10 level in the blood of patients at risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Rundek T, Naini A, Sacco R, Coates K, DiMauro S.

The cholesterol/Q10 relation

Statin use may cause a 49 % reduction inblood Q10 levels after 30 days of therapy.

Gum disease Interestingly, Q10 also seems to play a role in gum health. People who suffer from bleeding, infected gums often show visible signs of improvement when treated with Q10. The bleeding stops, and there are even reported cases of patients with advanced periodontal disease whose loose teeth have become firmly attached again after weeks or months of supplementation. Male fertility Literally all cells, with a few exceptions, need this vital compound to be able to make energy. Sperm cells are good examples of human cells that have to generate vast amounts of energy in order to carry out their tasks. Studies have shown that infertile men may benefit from supplementing with Q10. It powers up sluggish sperm cells and even seems to counteract damaged sperm cells that are deformed because of DNA damage. The damage occurs when so-called free radicals (reactive oxygen species) attack the cells and destroy their DNA. Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that is able to defend cells against such attacks.

How to find the right Q10 preparation If you go the local pharmacy or health food store, you will find dozens of different Q10 brands on the shelves. It is tempting to let the price tag determine your choice, but that is one mistake you should definitely avoid. The quality differences from one Q10 supplement to another are vast and if you make the wrong choice you end up with a product that is worthless. It may be cheaper, but every penny spent is a waste because you end up with a Q10 supplement that does not get absorbed. The formula that seems to be the most effective for optimal absorption and which has managed to document its efficacy to the point that international Q10 research has chosen this as their scientific reference is featured by: l Q10 dissolved in a palm oil matrix l A special heating of the mixture that allows the Q10 molecules to dissolve completely (in the body) at room temperature l Encapsulation in soft, light-protected gel capsules

Statin users benefit from Q10 Q10 which is available in pharmacy’s and health food stores, is of particular importance to people who take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol. Statins do not only lower synthesis of cholesterol, but at the same time they inhibit the

production of Q10. Since the role of Q10 in regulation of energetic metabolism and muscle metabolism is so vital, a deficit of Q10 is associated with increased risk of myopathy and other adverse effects. Several clinical studies have shown the ben-

efits of Q10 supplementation in prevention or therapy of these adverse effects - especially in patients using higher doses of statins for longer period or in patients presenting with symptoms of statin associated myopathy (muscle pain, fatigue etc.)


The Informer

nt:


10

All About Dublin (1)

Mapping the head of a Dublin murderer

Phrenology is a long-discredited theory which, at its simplest, said you could understand a person by the shape of their skull bumps and depressions indicated development of the underlying brain. Today it is most often encountered in antique shops and pubs where porcelain heads, lined off into many and varied sections, gather dust on the shelves. John Armstrong, 32 Hardwicke Street, was a Phrenologist in mid19th century Dublin. In 'The Phrenological journal, and magazine of moral science' (1842) he described an interview with John Delahunt shortly before his execution in Kilmainham Jail in December 1841, for the murder of a child. "I have, since the execution, obtained a cast of the head, and thus been enabled to verify at leisure the phrenological observations I had previously made. ... The most remarkable defects in Delahunt's development are to be found in the organs of Benevolence, Ideality, Constructiveness, Time, Tune, Marvellousness,

Conscientiousness, Self-Esteem, and Philoprogenitiveness (a love of children). These are all strikingly deficient. The conversation I had with the criminal himself corroborates several of these observations; and his own confession, taken down by his counsel in presence of the priest the day before his execution, is a decided triumph to the truth of phrenology. I asked him, Had he ever taken property which was not his own? He said, "Frequently," and added, that he felt no compunction for the thefts he had committed. This tallies precisely with his large Secretiveness and Acquisitiveness, combined with small Conscientiousness. The deficiency of Marvellousness explains his carelessness in swearing falsely on several occasions, and the absence of that superstitious awe which so often marks the murderer, and which, I understand from the Governor of the gaol, has never been manifested by Delahunt during his imprisonment. On the other hand, the deep religious impulses he occasionally

exhibited with his spiritual adviser clearly evince his full Hope and Veneration. Hope also, in conjunction with Adhesiveness. Love of Approbation, and the observing faculties, rendered him an agreeable companion, particularly to children; and accordingly, from the brief of evidence I have seen, it appears that he had the power of attaching children to himself in a remarkable manner . . . He enticed the boy Thomas Maguire to his untimely fate, and,

with the forethought and cunning suggested by Caution and Secretiveness, cut his throat from behind, and then threw the body forward, so as altogether to escape the rush of blood from the wound. The great passion of his soul, however, was the lust of gain, through which he was first led to perjury, and soon after closed his career with murder. His large Love of Approbation is shewn in the horror he expressed at being exposed to the execrations of the mob assembled to witness his execution; while his large Caution and small Self-Esteem are proved by the dastardly manner in which he met his fate ;- indeed, the features of his cast taken after death, retain the expression of almost idiotic terror. The only remaining observation applies to his Alimentiveness, regarding which I have been informed, that during his imprisonment he always ate plentiful meals with remarkable relish, and was particularly fond of hot buttered cake, of which he partook with a keen appetite the night before his execution."

The Informer Edited by Zoz

Lesser known Dubs Robert Croker/Noonan/Tressell Robert Croker, born at 37 Wexford Street, Dublin, in 1870, died in obscurity under the name Noonan in Liverpool in 1911 and was buried with 12 others in an unmarked grave. It was to be another three years before a book he had written was finally published and even then it was under yet another name - Robert Tressell. "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists - Being the story of twelve months in Hell, told by one of the damned, and written down by Robert Tressell," came to be widely recognised as a classic of working class fiction. The 'philanthropists' are the workers who think that a better life is "not for the likes of them" and who throw themselves into backbreaking work to generate profit for their masters. Robert was the illegitimate son of Samuel Croker, a senior member of the Royal Irish Constabulary who had his own family, but attempted to provide for Robert financially before his death in 1875. At age 16 he left his family, declaring he "would not live on family income derived largely from absentee >>> Continued on page 12

This page was researched with the help of


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All About Dublin (2)

Lesser known Dubs Robert Croker/Noonan/Tressell

The Informer Edited by Zoz

A Place in the City

Bailey Lighthouse - Howth

>>> Continued from page 10

landlordism." Around at this time he began using the surname "Noonan", his mother's maiden name, to distance himself from his father. In 1888 he emigrated to South Africa and became a painter and decorator. He married in 1891 and divorced four years later - taking his daughter, Kathleen, with him to Johannesburg. During 1898, he became a member of the Transvaal Executive Committee of the Centennial of 1798 Association, which commemorated the revolutionary nationalist United Irishmen. As a '98 Association member, Tressell helped form the Irish Brigades, an anti-British force that fought alongside the Boers in the Second Boer War. Around the time hostilities broke out Robert moved to Hastings to work as a signwriter, painter and decorator. Life was tough and he had to take various part-time jobs in addition to his

full-time position. He joined the Social Democratic Federation in 1906 and lost his job the following year after a dispute with his employer. Unemployed and unable to remain politically active, he started writing, something he hoped would earn enough money to keep him from the workhouse. He wrote under the pen name "Robert Tressell" (a pun on the trestle table, an important part of a painter and decorator's kit). 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists', a 1,600page hand-written manuscript was completed in 1910. After being rejected by three publishing houses he tried to burn it - it was saved by Kathleen. He decided to start a new life in Canada but only got as far as Liverpool before dying of a wasting away of the lungs. An unabridged version was finally published in 1955 - it remains in publication to this day.

One of the best known landmarks on Howth Head is the Bailey Lighthouse. The lighthouse is snugly situated into the cliff face of the northern end of Dublin Bay. At night the light can be seen for over a forty-mile radius as far as Wicklow Head. The white washed building sparkles in the sun adding an attractive feature to the Head. A corkscrew road drops steeply from the mound of The Summit to the lighthouse. In the lighthouse service the lighthouse is known as Howth Bailey, but to Dubliners it is popularly known as the Bailey Lighthouse. In 1667 King Charles II granted a patent for the building of five lighthouses around the coast of Ireland to Sir Robert Reading. He chose Howth Head as the location for one of these and built an open beacon on top of debris from the earlier beacon. It was a simple construction of a single storey containing living accommodation for the keeper and with a small platform on the roof on which the light, an open peat fire, was placed. This area was then known as Green Bayly but in time it became known as the Bailey Lighthouse. On Collins's map of 1686 a coal-burning lighthouse is mentioned at this location. A later lighthouse was built on The Summit but defeated purpose as it was regularly obscured by fog. In 1813 a new Bailey Lighthouse was designed by George Halpin and built lower down along the

cliff face. Despite the presence of the lighthouse, the coast around Bailey was a notorious area for shipwrecks. On 14 February 1853 during a fierce storm, the steamship Queen Victoria en route from Liverpool to Dublin, ran aground at the Bailey with a heavy loss of life. In 1865 the Bailey converted to gas and was the world's first successful candle-powered lighthouse. The Bailey became one of the most important lighthouses in the country as all apprentice lighthouse keepers were trained there. On completion of their training they were deployed to other lighthouses around the coast. In 1966 the lighthouse keeper left the Bailey for the last time and it became automated.


14

Informer Interview

The Informer

Waiting in the wings Leo Varadkar Where were you born? Rotunda Hospital in Dublin Where were you educated? St Francis Xavier National School in Roselawn in Blanchardstown around the corner from where I grew up. I went to secondary school in the King's Hospital in Palmerstown and then studied medicine in Trinity graduating in 2003. Are you married, children? No, but it’s on the to do list now that I have passed the big 30. What made you want to become a doctor? I guess it was in the blood. My Dad is paediatrician and later became a GP. My Mum is a nurse and my sister is a midwife. My other sister is a consultant in Great Ormond Street in London. I did not like it at first and that's kind of how I got diverted into politics but once I got into hospitals, starting dealing with real patients, I enjoyed it a lot. I’ll probably go back to it at some stage. Even though it is hard work, you get a lot more evenings and weekends off, you get a lot more respect and it’s a lot better paid than politics. Politics is not respected anymore, which is very sad. People think we are only in it for money or to massage our egos. That’s not true. The vast majority of politicians are good people, who live in modest houses, drive modest cars and really just want to serve their country or community. We are all tarred with the same brush because of the greed, corruption and incompetence of some. But in politics you can really change things. If you get into power, you can change the whole health service for the better. As a doctor you can’t. That’s why I am sticking with it. First paid job? I was a bus boy in Captain America’s but did not last for long. After that, I worked in Fred Hanna’s bookshop on Nassau Street for a couple of years part-time while I was studying What got you interested in politics? I am not sure. I guess I wanted to change the world. Now, I’ll be happy if I can just make Ireland and my community a better place. We talked about politics at home even though neither of my parents are in a political party. As a child, I used to love to go to vote with my Mum. Looking back on it, I was a little strange. Why Fine Gael? Because of our policies and values but especially its values. Fine Gael is the party that tells people the truth and has the courage to do so even when they don’t want to hear it. For example, we were the first to say that we could not afford benchmarking and that decentralisation was a bad idea. It was not popular at the time but we’ve been proven right. The other parties just

Kevin O'Brien talks to one of Fine Gael's key talents for a possible new government

lend money again. I do think that all our wages and salaries need to fall in line with European norms. There is no reason that anyone in Ireland should be paid more than their counterpart in Germany or Denmark or Britain but that can be done over time by not increasing wages for a few years. We don’t need more pay cuts imposed on people who have already had their pay cut. You are one of the most popular TD’s in Ireland today, Would you take the job as leader of Fine Gael if asked and how do you think you would different as a leader ? I am not sure if that’s true. I have a lot of supporters but there are a lot of people who dislike me. I’d be honoured to serve as a minister in the next government. If I can prove myself at that, I’ll think about leadership then.

tell people what they want to hear. They don’t really care about people. They just want their votes. Some people suggest that Bertie Ahern created the mess in the economy, that he was clever in getting out at the right time and that Brian Cowen was left to clean up his mess. Is this fair and accurate?

How can we provide better safety and security for the Irish people in the face of rising violence and criminality in Ireland? We need to be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. We need good education in the early years and need to intervene to help problem children before they become involved in crime. But there is no excuse for crime, and we need to be tough on those who commit crimes. People convicted of violent crimes should serve their time and should not get out early. I really think we need to stop being so soft on anti-social behaviour. It’s not behaviour, it’s crime and should be treated as such.

I think that’s wrong. He was pushed to go early. He wanted to stay on another year. Bertie’s great achievement was the Good Friday Agreement and history will be kind to him because of that. But he destroyed the economy. He just couldn’t say ‘No’ to the banks, the builders, the unions or the public. He used funny money taken in taxes from building and banking to fund big increases in pay, benefits and lower taxes. None of it was sustainable. He bought the people’s votes with money that was not really ours and now we are paying the price. You were criticised for suggesting to offer a payment to unemployed immigrants in return for leaving Ireland and returning to their home country. Is this feasible? It is feasible and the government is now doing it using EU money through International Organisation on Migration. I was attacked unfairly. It was a lesson for me. The media is only interested in a sensational story and your opponents will misrepresent you to make you look bad. Do you think that people who knowingly acted in an immoral manner like the bankers should be prosecuted? Yes. I do. They have done more damage to the economy than the IRA did and should be treated like subversives. They should be prosecuted and should also be submitted to a rigorous tax audit. Remember, they got Al Capone on tax not racketeering. I think Fianna Fail is soft on white collar crime. They are too close to them. The Americans, even the American Right like George Bush, locked up corporate criminals. How do you think the Labour Party’s ties to the unions would impact on strategy if Fine Gael and Labour were to form a coalition? I think that’s already clear. Both parties are in the real world and accept that there will have to be tax increases and savings in public spending to balance the books and to clean up the mess created by Fianna Fail.

But Labour has said it will increase taxes by three times as much as Fine Gael will. They will hit the middle class really hard with new taxes because they will not reform the government or the public service. Fine Gael wants a government that can work with the unions but we don’t want a government that’s run by the unions. Enda Kenny’s popularity in opinion polls seems to be inconsistent and does not seem to reflect his true popularity with the voters of Ireland. Do you think the opinion polls are accurate? I think people don’t see Enda’s strengths. He is a good chairman, very fair, encourages talent and gives his team a lot of freedom. He is a pleasure to work for. When he makes a decision he sticks to it and sees it through and he is ruthless when he needs to be. He’ll be a great Taoiseach but he’ll have to get the job before people realise how good he is. Do you think the minimum wage should be reduced? I don’t think the minimum wage should be reduced. France and Belgium have a higher minimum wage but have lower unemployment. There is more to being competitive than wages. We need to reduce the cost of rent, property, utilities and services. We need to improve infrastructure especially broadband and we need banks that will

Is there any mechanism that should be employed to encourage the financial institutions to support SME’s in Ireland? Yes. We need a small business loan guarantee to increase lending to SMEs just like they have in the UK and other countries. Fine Gael proposed that in the Dail in October but Fianna Fail, the Greens and most of the Independents voted it down. Why should people vote for Fine Gael if a general election is called? Because we will tell you the truth, because we have the plans to get us out of this mess and the courage to implement them and because we are not tied to any vested interests. We can offer people the hope that if we take the right decision now things will be better in a few years time. In 1976, the IMF went into Britain. In 1979 they got a new Prime Minister and were back on their feet by 1981. Argentina defaulted on its debts in 2003 but now they have lower unemployment than we do and a booming economy. With the right policies and right people, we can make a comeback. How do you relax? I like to workout. I do that four or five times a week. I love to travel when I get the chance. I like good food, good wine/beer and good company. Favorite sport, football team? Rugby, I guess. But I also support the Dubs especially when they are doing well! I follow the holy blue trinity – Leinster, the Dubs and Fine Gael!


Price War on Life Read your Assurance to local Benefit Consumers Informer

In the midst of all the economic doom and gloom it is refreshing to find an area of your outgoings where real savings can be made. In recent months premiums relating to Life Assurance (including Mortgage Protection) have come down significantly due to a more competitive marketplace. This coupled with the fact that we are all living longer means premiums have reduced significantly. In recent months providers such as Caledonian, Friends First and Zurich have slashed premiums. This is relevant to anyone with Life Assurance whether relating to a Mortgage (Mortgage Protection) or standalone for personal reasons. In addition to this, individuals who took out life cover through their banks when taking out their mortgage may not have received the most competitive product on the market. While premiums have dropped across the board it is still important to shop around and compare the various providers in the market. For example for a 30 year old couple with a mortgage of €250,000 over 25 years (both non smokers) the lowest quote

is €20.49 per month up to €25.86 per month for the highest quote. This is a difference of over 26%. Furthermore additional savings can be made if you are no longer a smoker and were originally a smoker at the time of taking out the policy. While cost is a major consideration it is important that you review the policy conditions yourself to ensure you are happy that you are comparing like with like. Why not ask your provider for a copy of the relevant policy conditions so you can compare the conditions yourself to ensure you are getting similar if not superior cover than you already have? SmartQuotes.ie compare all the main market providers to offer you the lowest monthly quote. In addition they offer up to a 70% rebate on the first 12 months premiums. SmartQuotes.ie are delighted to announce that for all Life Assurance (including Mortgage Life Assurance) policies issued by 31st December 2010, they will donate €30 to the Jack and Jill Foundation to help raise much needed funds for this very worthy cause.

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16

Personal Finance

The Informer

Save money by taking time to review your life cover The majority of my clients pay a monthly premium for some form of life cover. It would be fair to say though that most of them do not understand what type of cover they have, the extent of the cover or for how long they are covered. Life cover in its simplest form pays out a lump sum benefit in the event of a policyholder’s death. There are various types of life cover. Mortgage protection is the cheapest form of cover as the benefit decreases over time. With level term cover the benefit remains the same for the term of the policy. Both of these types of cover are for

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set periods defined when the policy is set up. Whole of life cover has no fixed term and you continue paying premiums up until a claim is made. Often there is a savings element to this cover. This type of cover can also be set up to pay an inheritance tax bill. These policies tend to get very expensive as you get older and reviewing them is a must before premiums get out of hand. Serious illness cover can be added to a life cover policy. This is designed to pay out a lump sum should a policyholder be diagnosed

with specific illnesses. A convertible option can be a very valuable addition to a policy as it grants the policyholder the option to convert into a new policy without any medical underwriting. Life cover needs change throughout your life as your circumstances change. It is important to review your cover on a regular basis to make sure you are getting good value. A good broker will help you work out adequate cover based on factors such as loss of income, the age of any dependants, or in anticipation of a future inheritance tax bill. The life insurance industry is operating in a ‘soft’ market at the moment. This means that premiums are being reduced as the life insurance companies compete for business. This represents a fantastic opportunity for you to shop around for cover to try to find a better deal. For example, a reduction of €20 per month on a 25 year policy will save you €6,000. Often you will not even have to switch companies as your existing company may offer you better terms. If you do need to switch this is very easy. Your broker should be able to search the market to identify the best premium for you. They should guide you through the application process and advise you when the new policy has issued so that the old policy and direct debit can be cancelled only when the replacement policy is in place. As a special offer we will refund two months premiums for any cover arranged in response to this article. To arrange a quote please contact me on 087 287 5256 or email at andrew@squaremile.ie. Andrew Russell is a Qualified Financial Adviser and Managing Director of Squaremile Financial Consultants Ltd. He provides financial advice to private sector employees and the self employed. In addition to this he specialises in assisting public sector employees improve their retirement benefits. Contact: Andrew Russell, Managing Director, Squaremile Financial Consultants. T: 087 287 5256 • E: andrew@squaremile.ie • W: www.squaremile.ie


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Relationships... We'd like to introduce our Agony Aunts and please feel free to send them your Relationship Questions (ShaCa@ takes2.ie). Your FREE advisers Sharon and Catherine AKA ShaCa who have buckets loads of experience through Takes2.ie VIP Relationships and Events! Q. Do I buy my "ex-wife" a christmas present? My kids want me to! A. Remember when a relationship ends the kids happiness and security is vital and that means you eat humble pie and do what they would like to see you do, which will make them feel respected and loved. Christmas is about the kids and gifts don't have to be expensive. It's the thought that counts and what they want to see! Go for it! Q. My husband and I are separated but live in the same house because of financial reasons. I do not see us getting back together, but can't move on. We have two children. What should we do? A. Never say never...Talk to a

councillor. Remember the grass is not always greener on the other side and the financial strain of the times does not help. Christmas is never a time to air these feelings. Remember you will be spending more time together so if you can, learn to hold your tongue and count to 10! If there is definitely no hope, try to keep it friendly - try councillor and mediator. No point giving all your hard earned money to solicitors! Q. I am devastated. I think my partner is having an affair. He seems distant and is always checking his phone and even started bringing me flowers which he never bothered with before. I have asked him and he says it's all in my imagination. I am afraid I'll lose him and love him so much. How can I be sure? A. From what you said in your long email, it could be possible. Remember that people who have

nothing to hide, hide nothing. Look for the common sense warning signs: A shift in patterns, accessibility, money, reliability and secrecy. A sudden interest in grooming or dress, going to the gym, or putting on more aftershave. Also, remember not to accuse your partner because of unhealthy jealousy, which could hurt the trust. It is all about communication and do keep chatting, suggest going out more together and tell him how you feel something is not quite right. When speaking with him, rather than the "blame" approach always take the "I feel" approach. Be positive and keep the chin up. Be happy within yourself and if you have any questions email Takes2.ie and we will do our best to answer you. If you have a relationship question for ShaCa, email ShaCa@takes2.ie. In case of publication, names will be withheld. We're sorry, but ShaCa cannot answer letters personally.

Kettlebells: Twice the Results in Half the Time "Stuck in a rut? Bust out of it in a big way with a kettlebell workout. This old-school piece of equipment is a throwback to the dawn of strength training; many of you may not be familiar with it. After a brief introduction to its physique -building values, we feel confident you'll soon give kettlebells-style training a try." - Joe Weider, Editor of Muscle & Fitness Magazine If you’re interested in burning fat, increasing strength and stamina then kettlebell training is for you. These cannonball-shaped iron orbs with handles were originally developed by Russian strongmen in the early 1700’s as a way to build strength, balance, flexibility and endurance quickly. They come in various different weights and the beauty of kettlebells is that you can do all your standard weight training exercises such as; presses, pulls and squats. However, the unique value of kettlebells is derived from ballistic (fast

exercise) work. These snatches, swings, cleans and jerks give you incredible muscular endurance when done in high repetitions and with a proper nutrition plan, can melt away any excess fat in half the time of standard aerobic exercise. A study conducted by the American Council On Exercise concluded that the average calorie burn for a 20 min Kettlebell workout was 272 calories, not counting the additional calorie burn due to the substantial anaerobic effort so subjects were burning at least 20.2 calories per minute, which is off the charts. “It’s a quick workout, and you do get a big bang for you buck in a very short amount of time” says researcher Chad Schnettler. Angie Jenkins runs Kettlbells Conditioning classes for both corporate clients and from Method Private Training Studio located at 10 Harrison Row, Rathgar Dublin 6. For information on classes email ajfitforlife@gmail.com or ring 087 278 1671. Web Site: www.fit4life.ie


18

Family Focus

Peas and pods family market If you’re looking for a different shopping experience before Christmas check out a new family market called Peas and Pods which takes place in the Dublin Food Co-Op at Newmarket Square, Dublin 8. With 30 hand-picked stallholders showcasing a wide variety of goods including clothing and toys, homewares and accessories, there’s something for everyone. Peas and Pods is designed with families in mind. In addition to stalls there’s face-painting, storytelling, art classes and

A natural approach to a healthy and safe pregnancy Natural Pregnancy and Birth, A Green Guide to Your Natural Pregnancy and Birth is a new book by health and childcare expert Claire Gillman. In it she explains how to have a healthy and safe pregnancy by adopting a natural approach. There are lots of practical, easy and inexpensive ideas for a natural pregnancy as well as essential advice on eating well, prenatal care and preparing for birth,

The Informer

maintaining a green home, and dealing with common ailments and pregnancy symptoms.

Brilliant Ideas Paper Scissors Glue by Catherine Woram is a book packed with brilliant ideas for keeping kids entertained all year round. It includes 45 fun and creative papercraft projects divided into cutting, folding, printing and painting and modelling categories. To make paper bells that will brighten up any Christmas household you will need plain paper for template, scissors, pencil, 8 A4 pieces of decorative paper per bell, glue stick, ribbon, strong/tacky glue, beads, strong thread. 1. Photocopy the template in the book and cut out. Place on the back of decorative paper and draw around it using a pencil.

musical workshops for little people. The Co-Op Café and Shop provides healthy food and delicious coffee. There will be a Christmas-themed market on Wednesday 22nd December and Sunday markets on 6th February,
 6th March,
 3rd April and 1st May 2011. For more information check out www.peasandpods. ie.

2. Use scissors to carefully cut out the bell shape. You will need eight per bell, and it’s easier to cut them out in one go. 3. Fold each bell in half lengthways,

making sure the pattern is on the inside. Glue one half of a bell to one half of the next bell and press flat with fingers. Continue to glue bell shapes together. 4. When you reach the last two bell shapes, cut a length of ribbon and stick it to the inside of the top of one side with strong glue. Thread three beads onto it. Tie a knot in one end of the thread and glue the other end to the inside of the bottom of the bell. Stick the last two sides of the bell together and leave to dry. 5. Hang up and enjoy. Paper bells are ideal hand-made Christmas decorations that can be made from leftover wrapping paper, and look particularly good in silver and gold colours. Paper Scissors Glue is published by Ryland Peters and Small at £14.99stg


20

The Informer

Health Issues

Ask the Ideas to help cope with psoriasis Pharmacist

Q: I am a 25 year old woman and I was diagnosed with psoriasis about 18 months ago. I have it on my arms and legs and it sometimes appears on my torso as well. I am very selfconscious about it as it is quite

unsightly. I have been prescribed Dermovate cream to treat it. This works fairly well, although if I stop using it, the psoriasis returns very quickly. Are there any alternative treatments that I could use?

A: Psoriasis is a skin condition where the immune system sends faulty signals to the skin which causes the skin cells to grow much quicker than normal, leading to “plaques� of psoriasis. These plaques are raised areas of skin and are usually pink in colour and covered with silvery scales, although the exact appearance of the plaques can vary from person to person. It is most commonly found on the elbows and knees although it can occur anywhere on the body. It is a long term condition and although there is no cure, with the right treatment it can be managed effectively. Nobody knows what causes psoriasis, although you can be assured that it is absolutely not contagious. There are some things that can aggravate psoriasis and managing these can help to manage your condition. Cold weather generally worsens psoriasis so wrapping up well outside and keeping your home warm in winter may help. High humidity also helps so you may find it helpful to buy a humidifier from your pharmacy. Stress makes psoriasis worse so manag-

ing stress in your life is important. If you suffer from chronic stress or anxiety, speak to your doctor who may be able to prescribe medication to help with this. Smoking and excessive alcohol intake are also known to worsen psoriasis so if you smoke, stop. Your pharmacist will be able to recommend a range of products which can help you give up smoking. Ultra-violet light also helps to improve most cases of psoriasis. However, caution needs to be exercised as a minority of cases will be made worse by ultra-violet and it is well known that ultra-violet light can increase the risk of skin cancer. Speak to your doctor if you wish to pursue this rather than just deciding to use sunbeds. No matter what treatment is used for psoriasis, probably the most important aspect of treatment is keeping the skin moist. Frequent use of a moisturising cream or ointment is essential, even if prescription treatments are also being used. E45 Cream and Oilatum Emollient are an ideal combination although there are a wide range of options and your pharmacist will be able to

advise you on the best products to use. Wrapping the area with a bandage after applying the cream or ointment will help the cream penetrate the skin better, although you should consult your doctor before trying this with any prescribed treatment. As regards prescription treatments, you have been prescribed Dermovate cream which is a strong steroid cream. Steroid creams work very well for psoriasis, although it tends to worsen again quite quickly after the cream is stopped. Another option that may be more beneficial is Dovonex Cream. Dovonex generally works about as well as steroid creams (although results may vary) but the remission will generally last longer after this cream is stopped. Dovobet Ointment is another option, which combines the active ingredient in Dovonex (calcipotriol) with a potent steroid, and is particularly useful when flare-ups occur. There are also some oral medications which can be used for psoriasis, although these are generally reserved for more severe cases due to potential side effects.

With Eoin Meany

Eoin Meany works as a pharmacist in McCabe's Pharmacy, Ridgewood Avenue, Swords. If you have a question you would like answered for next issue, please send it by email to eoin@mccabespharmacy.com or by post to McCabe's Pharmacy, Ridgewood, Swords, Co. Dublin.

Disclaimer: The advice you have been given by the pharmacist should not be regarded as a clinically accurate diagnosis of any disease or a guarantee that a particular medicine is safe for you to take. The advice given is based solely on the limited amount of information provided and so should not be regarded as a substitute for a face to face consultation with a pharmacist, doctor or other health professional who is personally familiar with your medical history.


22

The Informer

Health & Beauty

Beauty Ideas

With Linda Mullen

of Oceana Health & Beauty Phone: 01-8283901

Some facts about Botox

Botox is the number one cosmetic procedure in the United States, with 3.8 million treatments in 2005. Botox was introduced in the late 1980s by ophthalmologists for treating optic muscle disorders. It was approved by the FDA for cosmetic use in 2002, helping millions of patients get rid of nagging facial lines and wrinkles. Today, Botox is used to treat a variety of conditions, including ocu-

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lar muscle spasms, problems with eye coordination, severe armpit perspiration and migraine headaches. It’s also useful as an anti-wrinkle treatment for crow’s feet, frown lines, and furrows in the forehead. Botox is being studied to determine if it might be useful in treating conditions such as knee and hip osteoarthritis, temporomandibular joint disorder TMJ and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). How Botox Works

Botox combats wrinkles that are created when nerve cells within the muscles beneath the skin release a chemical called acetylcholine. This chemical triggers a muscle contraction that creates wrinkles. The Botox product, medically known as Botulinum Toxin Type A, is an injectable compound that disrupts the release of acetylcholine, which essentially paralyzes the muscle and stops the contraction. Results are fully evident within one week after treatment and remain for a minimum of three months. Botox typically reduces wrinkles by 80 percent. Patients are typically between the ages of 35 and 60. Results vary among individual cases, and the results are temporary. You will need to plan for additional injections, depending on your long-term treatment goals. The Botox Procedure

Botox injection is performed in the doctor's office, usually without anesthesia. However, a numbing cream may be applied to the treatment area. Patients may experience some minimal discomfort from the needle injection. Depending on the extent of treatment, the procedure can take a few minutes up to 20 minutes. Generally, patients return home shortly after the treatment is complete. The selection of injection points is critical to the success of the procedure. The points of injection are first scored with a marking pencil. The doctor may select numerous injection points for each location to be treated. These points may not be located on the wrinkle itself, but at the area where the muscle contracts. Antiseptic is also applied. The doctor will then determine the amount of Botox to be

used for the procedure. The Botox filler is then injected into the marked points beneath the skin. The toxins in Botox fasten to the muscles' nerve endings, which inhibits the release of the chemical acetylcholine. This will stop the muscle contractions that wrinkle the skin. Results are usually evident within one week and last about three to five months. Botox Side Effects and Recovery

The most common side effects of Botox include headache, nausea, flu-like symptoms and redness and pain at the injection points. Infrequently, patients may experience muscle weakness or drooping of the upper eyelid muscles. This side effect usually resolves itself within days, or in rare cases, months after the procedure. You can resume normal activities immediately, but your doctor may advise you to stay out of the sun. Report to your doctor immediately any unmanageable pain or symptoms that are progressive or abnormal. Talk to your doctor to fully understand the risks, complications and remedies. The Cost of Botox

Costs vary over a wide range depending upon the doctor, your region, and the extent of treatment. A lot of doctors perform the Botox procedure. Not all of them have extensive expertise with the injection, proper dosage, or a medical setting that can offer the highest level of quality care. Plastic Surgeons and dermatologists typically charge more for Botox as they are best equipped to perform your procedure. The cost for Botox may range from €125 to €400 per treatment area. Contact us for details of qualified, certified doctor from Irish Association of Cosmetic Doctors

Call Oceana today for our special for Informer readers on Microdermabrasion and Pigmentation removal. 01 828 3901.

Working abroad will broaden your options Once again emigration and working abroad is cost of living. Ireland remains one of the most a hot topic for discussion due to the huge num- expensive European countries to live in. In bers of Irish people leaving Ireland for employ- comparison, a TEFL job in South Korea would ment overseas. There are fears of a repeated pay around €1250p/m plus free accommoda‘brain-drain’ similar to what occurred in the tion. The cost of living in Korea is about mid-90’s, however working abroad can offer €600p/m which allows a large portion of the those interested in travelling, opportunities and salary to be saved to either bring home or experiences that are currently unavailable at travel afterwards. home. Working abroad will broaden the perspective Ireland has seen the number of third level of any person as well as improving their C.V graduates leaving to work abroad double since for when they return to the job hunt in Ireland. 2006. Almost 10% of third level graduate with To speak to an i-to-i TEFL Advisor about teachHonours from 2009 are now working abroad. ing English abroad call 058 40050 or visit Popular destinations still include USA and www.teflcourses.com. Australia with the availability of their 12 month working holiday visas. Teaching English as a Foreign Language or ‘TEFL’ is also an extremely popular choice for graduates as well as non degree holders. Companies such as Waterford based i-to-i provide TEFL training courses as well as offering a job placement service to help their TEFLers find reputable jobs in countries such as South Korea, Japan and China as well as European and South American destinations. Whilst the salary of some Asian and European destinations seem lower than an Irish graduate job, it is important to look at the relative n South Korea, a top TEFL job destination


24

The Informer

Dublin Advice

Suicides resulting from financial stress Financial pressures have become a serious source of stress for many families in Ireland. The Irish Property Council have personal knowledge of 29 suicides that can be attributed directly to financial worries, and many more people are relying on medication or hospitalisation to deal with the on-going stress and uncertainty of job losses, reduced income and negative equity. But we probably all know at least one person who seems able to

maintain a relaxed and optimistic attitude in the face of what appears to be financial disaster. Some people just seem to be blessed with a buoyant and positive nature, while most of us react with anxiety and confusion when faced with situations outside our control. In reality, these different responses provide the key to understanding how to successfully manage stress. Those lucky laid-back people are actually utilising strategies that can be learned by anyone wishing to get control of their anxiety levels and become more effective in dealing with life's challenges. "I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” - Mark Twain

Psychologists have long recognised that stress results not so much from external events, as from how we interpret them. When something goes wrong, we typically go into “catastrophe” mode, imagining the worst possible outcome unfolding in the future. Approaches that exacerbate nervousness and stress include magnifying - “this is the most awful thing that could happen, I will never recover”; taking it personally - “I am a failure”, “why me?”; selfcriticism - “I'm so stupid, I should have known better”; lack of selfbelief - “I'm not able to cope”; seeing only the negative - “I've lost everything”. Allowing these kind of thoughts to take over is like giving away our car keys to someone we know is going to crash our car. We lose our most valuable asset, peace of mind, and with it our ability to think clearly. Consisting repeating self-calming thoughts such as “All will be well”, or “We will survive”, will short-circuit the vicious cycle of anxious thinking and allow more solution-focussed thinking to emerge. Those who deal more effectively with stress typically see the cause of the problem as being external, rather than blaming them-

selves; believe that they are capable of generating the solution, even if it might take some time; find a supportive person to talk to; priotitise self-care by eating well and exercising regularly; maintain an “attitude of gratitude”, build in daily time-out from the problem, and keep their sense of humour. Tip for coping with stress – breathe for peace

A fast-acting method for directly tackling the physical experience of anxiety as it happens is called abdominal breathing. We can radically change the quality of our mood with our breath. To breathe deeply, lie flat on your back with no tight clothing around the waist. Extend the stomach muscles with the in-breath, so that your abdomen expands like a child's balloon. (This can take a bit of practice!). If you are feeling anxious, try saying the word “calm” or “peace”, or a similar word that appeals to you, with each in-breath. If you start by learning this technique at home, in bed or lying on the floor, it becomes second nature, and it can be practiced un-noticed while driving, at your desk or even at a meeting. You will be amazed at how effective it is in calming the nervous system and generating feelings of relaxation. It is essential to remember that we always have choices in how we respond to situations. Using daily self-calming techniques to maintain our mental and emotional equilibrium means that we do not have to live at the mercy of debilitating feelings of anxiety and fear. Instead we can regain our ability to find solutions and take back control of our lives. Maeve Halpin is a Registered Counselling Psychologist. Appletree Health and Wellness, No 122. Ranelagh Village, Dublin 6. Contact: 087-2877837 Email: maeve@maevehalpincounselling.com www.maevehalpincounselling.com

Win Two Free Tickets to the Opening Night of

The record breaking, ‘stunningly spectacular’ London Palladium production of Scrooge will come to the Grand Canal Theatre this festive season on Tuesday 7th December for 4 weeks only on its first ever visit to Ireland! This West End production is the perfect winter treat. Scrooge is a heart-warming family story with stunning sets and costumes, specially created illusions by magician Paul Kieve (acclaimed for the magic effects in the Harry Potter films) and a fantastic musical score which features the Oscar nominated hit Thank You Very Much. Tommy Steele, one of the most successful British entertainers of all time, returns to the stage for this production of Scrooge this festive season. Tommy’s performances at the London Palladium sent him into the record books as the star to have headlined the most performances at London’s most famous theatre.

The Informer has two tickets to the Opening Night of Scrooge which is the 8th December. For your chance to win, simply answer the following question and email your answer and contact details to:

competition@informer.ie Who will star in the Grand Canal Production of Scrooge?

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27

The Informer

Dublin GAA Ballyboden St.Endas hurlers create history with four-in-a-row titles

Outside of the boot with Mick Hanley GAA Sportsdesk on

103.2

Dublin City fm Wednesdays @ 7pm

Ballyboden St.Endas senior hurlers created history by winning their fourth consecutive Dublin senior hurling title beating St.Vincents on a scoreline of 3-17 to 1-10. The Garda club are the only other club to have achieved this feat, way back in the 20’s. The old cliche of goals winning matches came through again as ‘Boden scored two in a two minute second half spell to put daylight between themselves and St. Vincents. At that stage in the game Vincents had reduced a six point half-time deficit to four and it looked like we could be in for a close finish. However, goals from Niall McMorrow and Conal Keaney in quick succession put paid to this. Although Vincents did reply with a Thomas Connolly goal almost immediately, there was no stopping the Ballyboden machine. Earlier exchanges between both sides were even enough until the eight minute when ‘Boden right half forward Conor McCormack went on a solo run from midfield past Vincents defenders and crashed the ball to the net. This was a body blow to the Marino men but they replied with two points immediately to bring them back into the game. However they were conceding too many frees which ‘Boden midfielder David Curtin was pointing.

Ballyboden’s half back line of Stephen Hiney, Stephen Nolan and Malachy Travers were in exceptionable form. Travers was detailed to mark the dangerous Stephen Loghlin who scored three first half points in the second period. He managed to curtail the Vincents man’s impact but also supplied good ball into ‘Boden’s forward line. Conal Keaney was always a handful for Declan Qualter and his goal capped a good afternoon’s display. There will no doubt be more speculation whether he returns to the Dublin senior hurlers for 2011. It was a disappointing afternoon for St.Vincents as they had hoped to bridge a seventeen year gap since they last won the trophy. They had been unbeaten in this year’s championship up to the final game. However, their manager Shay Fleming was very complimentary to Ballyboden afterwards wishing them the best in the Leinster club championship. For Boden’s captain, goalkeeper Gary Maguire it was an honour to accept the cup on behalf of the team. Gary, who is also Dublin’s number one has had a very good campaign but he will be hoping that the team can make the breakthrough in the Leinster club championships where they will face Kilkenny champions n Ballyboden's Gary Maguire lifts the cup O’Loughlin Gaels.

Dublin Distractions...

Ya Havin' A Laff? Please Help Me!! An elderly businessman buys a large house. The house is situated on a cliff overlooking the sea. One evening, the old gentleman goes out for his usual brisk walk before going to bed. The evening is a very wild and blustery one. He ventures a little too close to the cliff's edge, loses his footing and falls over the brink. Fortunately, he is able to grasp a very slender sapling that is growing out of the cliff, which stops his fall. The old gentleman hangs there for a few moments, terribly shaken. Eventually he calls out: "Is there anybody there?" At once a great voice seem to fill the whole of the firmament. It comes out of the clouds, out of the sea and out of the cliff itself. It says in measured tones: "There is always someone up here, my son. All that you need to do is release your hold upon that small tree and you will descend safely to the shore below. The old gentleman considers this for a moment and takes a look down at the jagged rocks 200ft below him. Then he looks up again and says: "Is there anybody else up there?" A Blonde’s Diet Problem A blonde is overweight so her doctor put her on a diet. "I want you to eat regularly for two days," he tells her. "Then skip a day and repeat the procedure for two weeks. The next time see you, you’ll have lost at least five pounds." When the blonde returns, she's lost nearly four stone. "Why that's amazing," the doctor says. "Did you follow my instructions?" The blonde nods. "I'll tell you though, I thought I was going to drop dead that third day." "From hunger you mean?" Asks the doctor. "No," replies the blonde, "from skipping."

John’s A Millionaire!! John appeared on ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ and had already won e500,000. You’ve done very well so far,’ said, Chris Tarrant. "But for a million euro you’ve only got one lifeline left – phone a friend." "Sure" said John. "I’ll have a go!" "Which of the following birds does NOT build its own nest?" A: Sparrow B: Thrush C: Magpie D: Cuckoo "I haven’t got a clue," said John, "so I’ll phone my friend Pat." John called up his mate, and told him the circumstances and repeated the question to him. "Oh hell, John!" cried Pat. "that’s simple……it’s a cuckoo.""Are you sure?""For sure I am for sure." John hung up the phone and told Chris: "I’ll go with Cuckoo as my answer." "Is that your final answer?’ asked Chris. "Sure it is". There was a long, long pause, then the presenter screamed, "Cuckoo is the correct answer! John, you’ve won e1 million euro!" The next night, John invited Pat to their local pub. "Tell me, Pat? How did you know it was a Cuckoo that doesn’t build its own nest?" "Because everyone knows a Cuckoo lives in a clock!!" Smoke Time Mick meets his mate Alan and tells him he is going on holiday and asks him if he wants any cigarettes brought back. "Yeah," said Alan. "Will you bring me back 400 Benson & Hedges please and I’ll sort out the money when you get back." The following week Mick meets Alan in the pub and gives him his 400 cigarettes. "How much do I owe you," Mick asked Alan? "e170.00 said Mick. "e170!" replied Alan. "That’s a rip off. Where did you go for your holiday?" "Wexford" replied Mick!!

This month in History 1791 The Customs House opens.

1789 The first American holiday occurred, proclaimed by President George Washington to be Thanksgiving Day, a day of prayer and public thanksgiving in gratitude for the successful establishment of the new American democracy. 1847 Dracula author Bram Stoker (1847-1912) was born in Dublin. 1905 Irish political party Sinn Fein was founded in Dublin by Arthur Griffith. 1969 Introduction of the breathalyser into Ireland. 1972 VAT is introduced into Ireland. 1972 The U.S. turned over its military base at Long Binh to the South Vietnamese, symbolizing the end of direct American military participation in the Vietnam War. 1974 Britain outlawed the IRA (Irish Republican Army) following the deaths of 21 persons in a pub bombing in Birmingham. 1989 The Berlin Wall was opened after standing for 28 years as a symbol of the Cold War. The 27.9 mile wall had been constructed in 1961. 1992 The Church of England voted to allow women to become priests. 1994 The first paying passengers traveled on the new rail service through the Channel Tunnel linking England and France. 1995 By a margin of less than one percent, Ireland voted to legalize divorce, the closest vote in the nation's history. 1998 In Dublin, Tony Blair became the first British Prime Minister to appear before the Dail. 2001 Northern Ireland faces new Assembly elections as the British and Irish governments prepare to block David Trimble's bid to be re-elected as First Minister


28

Dún Laoghaire News

Blueline Project Proposed

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has proposed plans for a new Southeast Dublin rapid transit service, Blueline. The Blueline project, comprised of road using Luas-like carriages, will be a new public transport service facilitating passegers with stops at ten key locations around Southeast Dublin including St. Vincent’s Hospital, UCD, RTE, Goatstown and Sandyford. Speaking about the new initiative Owen Keegan, County Manager Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council stated: “Blueline is a very exciting development in public transport in Dublin. It can deliver a quality service, which is very close to that of light rail in terms of journey time, operating hours, frequency,

reliability and comfort but at a significantly lower cost.” The council has claimed that the Blueline project can be built for e33 million, compared to the e300 million of the recent Luas extension. This will see a terminus-to-terminus journey time of 18 minutes with one service every six minutes during peak times and will operate 18 hours a day carrying in excess of 1000 passengers per direction per hour. Information centres have been arranged in the Dun Laoghaire and Dundrum Council Offices, Beacon South Quarter, UCD main campus, St. Vincent’s Hospital, RTE and the Merrion Centre.

The Informer News by Graham Connors

Dún Laoghaire in Brief... Water education for local students

Councillor Lettie McCarthy, An Cathaoirleach of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, has launched the Council's new Water Education pack. The official launch was held in St. Joseph’s Primary School in Dun Laoghaire with the help of a large group of students. The initiative of this programme is to educate children as to where their water comes from. This includes information on how water is treated and why it is vital that we conserve water, featuring science experiments and learning activities to facilitate the scheme. Clllr McCarthy said: “I’m delighted to see the Council focus on the water conservation as part of its schools education programme.” Dean Eaton, the Council Assistant Enviromental Awareness Officer added, “the Water Education Pack is just one part of a range of awareness activities we run during the year. Come December local students will have the chance to ‘green’ their holiday season by creating decorations out of recycled materials." The new pack will be distributed free of charge to all primary schools throughout the county next month.

Local councils not spending on road improvements

Fine Gael recently announced that almost half of the money allocated to all local authorities for this year has not been used. Dun Laoghiare Rathdown was singled out in particular as it has not spent 68% of its allocated funding. Over e5.6 million of emergency funding was given to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to repair the damage done to the area’s roads caused by the harsh weather last winter. Nearly e3.9 million of that sum has, as of yet, gone unspent. Fine Gael Councillor Neale Richmond had this to say on the matter, “The Council can only avail of this money until the end of the year. The biggest losers of all will be motorists and local residents, who witnessed the dramatic deterioration of roads all over Ireland last winter.” The lack of spending on road improvements in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown area could have serious consequences as, with the proposed drastic Budget looming in December, there is no guarantee that similar funding will be made available next year. The lack of spending could have a greater impact on motorists this winter as well with the long range forecast prediction an equally harsh if not worse season ahead.

Have you got news for us? Have you got a local news story you would like covered? Email the newsdesk:

news@informer.ie


Dun Laoghaire Informer Nov 2010